I’m glad Megan McArdle likes her Kaiser HMO [“Why America doesn’t love HMOs as much as I do,” Thursday Opinion, Dec. 29]. But that’s not the point. HMOs don’t try to slow the rising cost of healthcare or improve the quality of care — mostly because they’re run by for-profit corporations like Aetna (a.k.a.), housed in for-profit pharmaceutical companies (all), hospitals, systems (many) , a chain of nursing homes and a durable medical equipment company. These incentives are for profit, not for the best care for patients.
The United States has by far the most expensive healthcare system in the world, but it is not the best by any standard used internationally. One area of particular trouble, given the heated debate over abortion, is that the United States has the highest infant mortality rate in the industrialized world.
No one can really fix a problem without addressing the root cause, even if it’s difficult. Will we be brave enough to do it?
pam foster, Ellicott City